the hundred strokes of coach Deschamps

Didier Deschamps, at the Paris headquarters of the French Football Federation, on 7 November.
Didier Deschamps, at the Paris headquarters of the French Football Federation, on 7 November. FRANCK FIFE / AFP

At the turning of a question, Didier Deschamps appreciated the adjective. He smiled, then repeated it for better enjoyment, detaching each syllable at a press conference on November 7th. The coach of the French football team is preparing, yes, to live two events "Concurrent".

Sunday, November 17 in the evening, the coach of the Blues will close the qualifying phase for Euro 2020 with a match in Albania, which could allow the team of France, already qualified after his victory against Moldova on Thursday night (2-1), to finish first in his group. And, " if all goes well "he will have reached the threshold of one hundred games on the bench of the national team.

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"DD" is not the only "centenary" coach in football. Others have even more games: Germany's Joachim Löw and Uruguay's Oscar Tabarez. "DD" is not the longest running coach either. On this count, also ahead of Andorran Koldo Alvarez, Luxemburgish Luc Holtz or Danish Faroe, Lars Olsen.

But the man with the double "D" has a peculiarity, a double longevity of which the aforementioned coaches can not claim. Player, Deschamps had left the Blues on the evening of his 103rd cape: a friendly match against England, in September 2000, at the same time as Laurent Blanc, the time to spin with a crystal bookends and a bouquet of thanks.

"Not the same flavor, not the same value"

"It does not have the same flavor, not the same value", now considers Deschamps, who esteems "Maybe even more proud To have reached the milestone "Token" a hundred games as coach. Attempt to explain: "It's more complicated, it goes through results, it depends mostly on the players. "

In both cases, he showed a constant: this ability to have found his place and keep it in France team.

Player, the midfielder he was logically finished captain of the Blues. As when he was 19 in Nantes, as when he was 24 and he raised the Champions League with Marseille.

Former teammate Lilian Thuram remembers a friendly match between France and Turkey in 1996. Deschamps asked him on the pitch to swap with fellow defender Vincent Candela. "I'm not sure the coach (Aimé Jacquet) agreedsmiles Thuram, who sees in this instruction given in full match a "Ability to make decisions for the good of the team".

The anecdote comes from a documentary broadcast in October on TF1, the chain of Blues. A documentary by the animator Nagui, close to the coach, better known for his television games and his taste for music than for his sports reports.

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This film evokes another important moment. In July 2012, Deschamps became coach of the France team after Laurent Blanc. At the time, rumors imply a maneuver of the first to overcome the second.

Wrong interpretation, says White, seven years later: he claims to have chosen himself not to ask for the renewal of his mandate after a quarter-final lost to the Euro.

In 2018, France 2 was already broadcasting a first documentary a few days before the World Cup in Russia. Not really to the taste of Didier Deschamps, who had preferred to cancel his come on the shelf after watching it in preview.

The "Complément d'enquête" program was about his career as a player, and two issues involving his former clubs: the case of corruption Valenciennes-OM, the time of Marseille, and suspicions of widespread doping Juventus Turin.

For the extension, go in December

Topics far from the current concerns of Didier Deschamps. On 7 November, at the Paris headquarters of the French Football Federation (FFF), another event potentially concomitant to the next matches of the French team was discussed during his press conference: what about his contract and his extension?

"We'll see in due time", is satisfied to answer the interested, 51 years, for the hour under contract until the Euro 2020. « Didier and I will meet again after qualifying in December, and in a very short time certainly we will find the opportunity to continue ", said Le Graët in April in an interview on France Inter.

The septuagenarian has been president of the FFF since 2011. He has always supported the coach. Even in the most complicated moments, when Didier Deschamps had chosen to do without Karim Benzema before Euro 2016. It was before the world title of 2018 and before the twentieth anniversary of the first World Cup title of the Blues, with Deschamps for player.

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